FNB UCT Ikeys will be looking to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet when the Cape-based side takes on FNB NWU Eagles in the 2023 FNB Varsity Cup final at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground in Potchefstroom tomorrow. Kick-off is at 19:00.
Champions in 2011 and then again in 2014, beating the same opposition 39–33 in that year’s final, coach Tom Dawson-Squibb's charges are intended to come out guns blazing.
"We are going to play 80 minutes regardless of the score. We know in 2014 we were able to come back to the same venue, we were 26-9 down and we came back.
"We understand they are favourites, we understand they are playing at home and backing themselves to win but we will play until the end."
The two sides met late last month at the Green Mile Stadium in Cape Town, where the home side lost 26-42.
Dawson-Squibb says his side is looking forward to the challenge, and believes Ikey's physicality has been the key this season.
"I felt we could get to a final, I said to the boys and the staff you always need to work well, connect, have some luck and enjoy the ride. We had some tough luck in the first half of this competition, and I'm hoping that's all done now."
UCT captain Luthando Woji says the players know what is expected from them and winning the competition would be a significant achievement.
"Eagles are a very physical team where they will look to impose themselves both on set-piece and in general play. We are also aware that they have quick backs who enjoy playing with the ball in hand.
"The Eagles have had a good run in this competition so far but I think in the final form it doesn't count for much. I’m backing my boys come Monday.
"I’ve always maintained that it’s not about me, it's about a 40-odd-man squad that has worked hard throughout the campaign and I just hope the run on 23 can do them and the management proud."
Points for: 330
Points against: 217
Top try scorer: Duran Koevort – 6
Top points scorer: Ntokokoza Makhaza – 114
FNB UCT Ikeys: 15 Koevort Duran, 14 Louw Rethabile, 13 Boulle Joshua, 12 Lamb Kyle, 11 Makhaza Ntokoza, 10 Hayes David, 9 Moos Asad, 8 Delport Laro, 7 Ndiao Kyle, 6 Dyonase Siphumezo, 5 van der Westhuizen George, 4 Crous Reynhardt, 3 le Roux Bryan, 2 Blanckenberg Keagan, 1 Woji Luthando.
by Ayanda Frances Felem